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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Doan

Day 50: Cross Winds, Head Winds and Everything in Between

Monday, July 24, 2023

Green River, UT -> Capitol Reef National Park, UT

95.6 miles. 3084 ft elevation gain. 7 hrs and 6 minutes moving time

Hey y'all. At this point, I have fully recovered from my accident a few weeks ago and have been back biking! Today's ride was definitely more on the strenuous and physically demanding routes. Being around 96 miles, it was more on the longer rides that we usually do. Additionally since we are in desert, it was extremely hot and have limited places for us to stop for water. By around 11 am, it was already in the high 90's pushing to even 103 degrees by 1pm. However, the high heat was the least of our struggles. What made this day challenging was the immense amount of head winds and cross winds. When I bike, I normally carry my pannier bag on my rear rack which holds additional water bottles, my phone charger, and a few other miscellaneous items, making my bike heavy. Thus, the weight of my bike, plus the climbs and the head wind make my riding experience less than ideal. However, at the end of the day, we all made it to our destination!

Notice the more aerodynamic stance? This was me and Audrey the entire time on the ride as we tried to minimize our cross-sectional area to avoid becoming a sail for the head wind.

For context, Audrey and I are currently in the middle of the hardest climb of the day, where the average grade was around 6 degrees. The head wind on this segment was absolutely brutal, to the point where my music that I listen to with noise cancelling headphones became background noise to the wind.

Along the bike route, I stopped at a burger shack to not only refill my water bottles, but also grab a quick bite to eat! This restaurant offered at least 20 different flavors of shakes, but I opted to have their strawberry banana milkshake. It was quite delicious and extreme large, this picture does not do it justice to show the shear size of the cup.

After reaching the visitor center (Around 2 pm and still 100 degrees outside), we did a quick tour of the gift shop to see all the merch they had. I personally bought a few postcards and a magnet. I've been trying to collect magnets of national parks I've visited on this trip as I have never been to a national park prior! Shortly after these purchases, I along with the rest of the team claimed corners of the exhibit as a place to bum around for the next few hours.

It was already mentioned before, but Utah is extremely hot and dry, which is why it's important for us to stay hydrated. Throughout the course of the ride, I drank close to 1.5 gallons of water due to how much I sweat alone. This was my back with all the salt left behind after the water evaporated off my back alone.


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